Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Study Information Portal: A New Way to Find Research at MedStar

Guest Blogger:
Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager  |  Office of Research Development, Planning & Communications

I’m excited to share a new resource for finding clinical trials throughout MedStar! Several years ago, we launched our Clinical Trials Management System, OnCore, for the research that is happening across the system. One of the benefits of this system that was most interesting to me was the ability to have the information about currently enrolling trials embedded on our website.

When you click on a protocol number,
more information is available to the
user about the study.
The new Study information Portal is updated in real-time with OnCore. It allows users to browse by PI, location or age group or use the search field to find studies by research area. It’s a great resource for patients who are looking to participate in research and for clinicians to find potential studies for their patients.

If you find a study you are interested in, you can find more information by clicking on the protocol number. 

The portal is accessible directly from the MHRI homepage, with the blue button that says “Find a Trial”.

Thank you to Allie Moses, who spearheaded the project from our side, and the corporate digital team for their support in making this happen.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Call to Action

Below is my monthly message for the August 2019 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I had planned a great monthly message for you this week about artificial intelligence (AI). I was going to tell you about this fascinating conference I just came back from at University of Oxford and how MedStar investigators are making wonderful contributions studying the use of AI and machine learning to advance health through research. And then, I was going to top it off with the fact that MedStar is already starting to gain national recognition for this work, exemplified by a quote in Eric Topol’s new book Deep Medicine, where he calls MedStar Health out as a leading example!

That is the message I have been writing in my mind all week and it would have been exciting and uplifting…until this morning.

This morning, I woke up to the terrible news of two mass shootings in less than 24 hours. One of these shootings occurred in a mall as families were doing their back to school shopping. Just as the Annapolis shootings did
last year
, this one struck home. Just yesterday, David (my son) and I were browsing the shops in preparation for school. As we did this, I started reminiscing how, as a rising high school senior, this could be our last ‘back-to-school-shopping’ – but never in a million years could I imagine that it would be the last because of a shooting in such an innocent place as the mall.

So for my monthly message, I have a new, simple and important message. If you haven’t already, please go to the
MedStar Starport page on what to do if there is an active shooter/Code Silver and watch the video. We all hope and pray that we will never need to use this information, but hope is not a plan. If the unimaginable ever happens, whether at work or with our family, we need to be prepared. This short video is the first step in getting prepared. For the sake of your loved ones and for those we care for at MedStar, please watch the video

While it is a sad morning for our country in this regard, if it calls us to action individually and as a society then something good will come of it. Please call yourself to action and watch the video, have those you work with watch the video and share it with those you care most about.

We do great things every day so let us make sure we plan for the worse as we work together to create the best of healthcare for the future. I look forward to advancing health with you and the generations to come.


Read Focus at

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Research Opportunities from the City of Dreaming Spires

Old world meets new world...

This week, at the University of Oxford (the oldest English speaking university in the world which was started in the 12th century) there is a gathering of academic, industry and governmental leaders to discuss enhanced collaboration across these organizations to accelerate innovation and research.

The Oxford - UIDP summit, invited technology, research and innovation leaders from diverse fields (beyond healthcare) came together to discuss the impact of AI/Machine learning, academic-industry consortia, unique industry-academic partnerships, changing workforce needs and more. In the opening session, we heard from Sir Mark Walport (who runs the United Kingdom Research Institute) and Walk Copan, Under-secretary responsible for the U.S.'s National Institute of Standards and Technology. These are among the largest funders of research for England and the United States on the same stage! 


And, of course, it is Oxford so you need to take a little time and see some of the historic sites such as the pictures below from Bodleian Library, the main library of the University of Oxford and one of the oldest libraries in the world.

It was exciting to take part in this summit and I was proud that I could represent MedStar and Georgetown at this prestigious event.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

MedStar Honored for Work on Health Equity by AAMC

Almost three years ago, MedStar Health researchers, along with collaborators from Georgetown University, joined a group of eight institutions brought together by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), to plan and evaluate strategies to produce coordinated systems for community health. I am happy to announce that their work on this project is complete and acknowledge the team for their efforts!

At the end of June, the entire team received an award for their participation at a dinner and the work was presented at the final meeting for participating sites by Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA; Vicki W. Girard, JD; and Deliya Wesley, PhD, MPH.

The research conducted during this initiative was presented at the 2019 MedStar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium! The poster, "An Empirical Approach to Planning for Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs): Initial Findings from the MedStar Franklin Square Service Area, " can be viewed here.

Congratulations to the MedStar AAMC Team for all your hard work, dedication and contributions!

The full team was Angela Thomas, Jamie Padmore, David Mayer,Terry Fairbanks, Chris Goeschel, Deliya Wesley, Derek Delia, Vicki Girard, Lisa Pollan , Deborah Perry, Emeobong Martin, Tricia Isennock, Diana Quinn, Sullivan Robinson, Eileen Moore, Ana Caskin, Megan Wall, Allyn Rosenberger, and Uchenna Emeche.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Importance of Diversity In Research

Below is my monthly message for the July 2019 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Happy 4th of July holiday! I hope everyone had a chance to celebrate with those close to you and had a break from your routine. As we come off the holiday weekend, I was wondering if there was anything from the break that left a lasting impression?

For me, on this celebration of America, I was struck by a full-page NY Times ad by the Carnegie Corporation of NY ( entitled “Great Immigrants, Great Americans” with dozens of pictures of well-known Americans (with Andrew Carnegie prominently displayed). In their words, “Every Fourth of July since 2006, Carnegie Corporation of New York honors Andrew Carnegie’s legacy by celebrating the wide-ranging contributions of immigrants who enrich our communities and culture, strengthen our economy, and invigorate our democracy.” This holds especially true for the medical sciences.

Keeping all politics aside, immigrants represent diversity. For science, it’s a diversity of thought, perspective, experience, and ingenuity. Diversity creates the richness of possibilities. However, diversity also creates a wider spectrum of expectations, desires, and needs. The Washington - Baltimore area is incredibly diverse. In many respects, we are a microcosm of the US and therefore a microcosm of the challenges that US healthcare faces. While those challenges are formidable, they also present a wonderful opportunity for MedStar, in partnership with Georgetown University, to excel in health equity research. This is an important part of the work of an Academic Health System, a health system that applies academics to advance the health of the entire community we serve.

As you review this month’s e-Newsletter FOCUS, you will see articles about research on diversity and health equity. For example, MedStar Health, in partnership with Georgetown, was recently recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for investigating the potential impact of medical-legal partnerships to improve health. The research collected qualitative and quantitative data at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and its Family Health Center in Baltimore. High risk health factors included low socioeconomic status, caring for young children, and homelessness. Legal issues that arise from these circumstances included custody, domestic violence, health insurance, and eviction. Addressing these social determinates of health often have a larger impact on the patients’ ultimate health outcome than just the medications prescribed.

Being in the nation’s capital also allows us to examine the impact of health equity research in the context of health policy. The MedStar-Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center, working with colleagues from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, is investigating the unintended surgical outcomes consequences of healthcare policy, specifically in low-income and ethnic and racial minorities. With this information, the research can focus on expanding the ways to improve the delivery of surgical quality, language effects, and disparities in access to and outcomes of surgical care.

I am very proud of the work we are doing to recognize the diversity of our community and extending our health services research to improve health equity for the diverse populations we serve. On this holiday in celebration of America, we should step back and recognize our contributions. Together, we are advancing the health of our slice of America…we advance health in many ways and we advance health by staying connected to our community.


Read Focus at

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Five Years of Encouraging Future Researchers

Guest Blogger:
Colleen A. Kelly, CCRC, CIM
Manager, Clinical Trials; MHRI Baltimore Cardiology

Cynthia Lynn Yashinski, BA, CCRC
Clinical Research Coordinator III, Cardiology

This year marks the fifth year of the Baltimore Cardiology EP summer internship program!

It was initiated in 2014, when I (Colleen) was approached by a former colleague about whether our department had a position available for her college-aged son who wanted to pursue a career in medicine. While my department did not have any paid positions available at the time, we explored the MHRI volunteer program. Cynthia had also expressed an interest in mentoring an EP intern. That is when the program was born!

The subsequent year, we met with Shawn McNamara, EdD, MS, RN, Dean, School of Health Professions, Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) about working in collaboration with MHRI to offer a summer position to one of their Allied Health Sciences students since CCBC’s campus is adjacent to Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. So the past 4 years, Baltimore Cardiology has hosted a CCBC student as a summer EP intern.

Our former intern presenting her research as a PhD candidate!

The interns have the chance to learn and observe many different things while they are here, as well as meet researchers, physicians, nurses and representatives from industry. They get to observe patient visits, ablations and device implants, as well as study procedures like device checks, blood draws and lab processing, and data entry. They get to see how we interact with patients, and learn basic clinical skills such as how to take vital signs, perform an EKG, and draw and process blood (using employee volunteers).
They also learn about good clinical practice, HIPAA privacy laws, and the research process from IRB submission to closeout.

We have been fortunate to have selected some outstanding students that have go on to advance their careers in health-related fields. One continued their studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, two have gone on to nursing school, and one entered a PhD program.

Thank you to Dr. Glenn Meininger for his support of this program. We are proud to be able to offer a rich and valuable experience for these young students and help lead them into research! 

Happy 4th of July!

As MHRI celebrates our nation's freedom, let us honor the men and women dedicated to preserving the independence of all Americans. Enjoy the time with your family and friends.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Cyber Safety at MedStar

In light of the recent news about the City of Baltimore's malware attack and the current initiative at MedStar Health around phishing, it seemed important to share some simple, smart steps that you can take to protect your computer.

Here are three cyber-hygiene best practices from MedStar Health IS:
  • Do not turn off your computer before leaving work. Desktops and docked laptops should be locked, but not shut down. This allows important software updates to occur while you are away.
  • Always log out of the Office portal. Our upgrade to Office 365 allows secure access to email and documents anywhere, at any time using a two-step verification process. However, once you log in, you must be mindful to manually log out of the portal if you are working on a public or shared device.
  • If you step away, lock or log off. An unattended logged-in computer can expose patient or sensitive information or allow unauthorized access to MedStar systems. Every time you step away, eliminate the opportunity for anyone to commit harm or misuse.
These tips go hand in hand with our systemwide focus on avoiding phishing email scams designed to trick you into clicking on a malicious link or attachment, and/or revealing your network password. Verify every sender before you click and report all suspicious email to

Thank you for recognizing your vital role in keeping information, systems and devices safe.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Summer Research Students

Every summer, MedStar & MHRI is pleased to partner with Georgetown University to bring on medical students, between their first and second year of medical school, to collaborate with our researchers for eight weeks over the summer.

Each summer student is paired with a mentor who will guide them through the research project. We hope that this experience engages students to continue with research as they grow in their medical careers.

We hosted the summer students at our offices for their official orientation. Jamie Padmore, vice president of Academic Affairs at MedStar Health, and Munish Goyal, MD, who directs the summer student research initiative, welcomed the students, while our human resources team guided them through the on-boarding process.

We are excited to have so many Georgetown medical students this year (a record number!) and know they will have a great, educational and fulfilling summer gaining great reseach experience across the MedStar system!  We wish them the best for their summer and I can’t wait to see their research at the Capstone presentation later this year.

Monday, June 17, 2019

MHRI Service Award Luncheon

Each year we recognize associates who are celebrating milestone years of service to MedStar Health and the MedStar Health Research Institute. 

On Thursday, we showed our appreciation by hosting a luncheon to present awards to our associates and celebrate with each other. We joined the festivities with other MedStar Diversified entities. In all, there were 115 team members celebrating 1240 years of combined experience at MedStar Health.  Anniversary milestones range from 5 to 35 years of service.

In addition to balloons and music, there was a fun photo-booth.  Here is a pic from some of the MHRI associates who were receiving an award:

Congratulations to all of our service award recipients and thank you for your commitment to MedStar!


Monday, June 3, 2019

What a day!

Below is my monthly message for the June 2019 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I’m writing this message on the heels of our most successful Research Symposium to date! We had over 1,000 MedStar-Georgetown associates, presenting more than 400 research studies, preceded by 8 pre-Symposium educational workshops and our 3rd system-wide resident research day (highlighted by 6 oral presentations from the highest rated resident abstracts). And all of that was kicked off by the inaugural partnership with Georgetown University, across research and educational domains, with a very successful Georgetown CENTILE Colloquium for Educators in the Health Professions. 

So those are the facts. I tend to be a very analytic person obsessed with data. However, words and data don’t begin to express the feeling in the room. Others, who were kind enough to send me an email, are better at expressing the feelings:
  • A++++++ event
  • Bravo! I am so proud to be at MedStar!
  • Awesome! Highlight of the year. Period!
  • What an absolutely boffo and wonderful Research Symposium.
  • There could not have been a better demonstration of the power of multiplying academic prowess with a real-life clinical healthcare machine.
  • It’s my new favorite MedStar event of the year!
  • These residents and fellows are so impressive. The quality of the research is phenomenal.
  • This is too good – I need to bring the rest of my department next year.

Yes, we want you to bring your colleagues and be ambassadors for academics across MedStar Health. Together, with our academic partners at Georgetown, we are building a world class Academic Health System that will lead the next generation of academic medicine and this Symposium brings us one step closer. Thanks to all who attended and made it possible.

And if these words don’t give you the feel, please take a look at #MedStarGTsymposium19 on Twitter or scan some pictures from the Research Symposium on my latest blog post here.

I hope you came away from the event as energized as I am with a renewed commitment to our vision of advancing health through research, education, and innovation!


Read Focus at

Friday, May 31, 2019

2019 MedStar-Georgetown Research Symposium

What a great event! Over a thousand people celebrating the wonderful work from over 400 studies!  Words don't begin to share the feeling in the room... so let take a look at some of the pictures below!
There was also a lot of activity on Twitter this year, with the hashtag  #MedStarGTsymposium19! Make sure you check those photos out too!

Main stage speakers highlighted the Academic Health System
MedStar and Georgetown are building together
Over 100 resident & fellow posters were part of the moderated poster sessions.

Keynote address by Dr. Holly Humphrey, president of the Josiah Macy Foundation
Researchers across the MedStar system & Georgetown 
connected about their work.
Residents & fellows present their work to a packed Ampitheater

Pre-Symposium Workshops